5 min read

on leo season

leo card from the compendium of constellations and strength/star from the muse tarot

hello, friends. with my queer tarotscopes column retired, i'm going to continue what i started in cancer season and explore these zodiacal signs through the lens of numerology, the elements, and whatever else comes to mind. i'm still figuring out what shape these pieces are going to take, trying to listen to my creative spirit and develop a series that is as interesting for me to write as i hope it is for you to read. i'm not sure what its final form to be, but i'm not interested in rushing that process. i'm eager to see what emerges, where my creativity wants to flow.

with the sun moving into leo today, and venus beginning her retrograde in the same sign, it feels like the right time to sink into pleasure-fueled creativity, to enjoy the process, to slow down. thanks for being along for the ride.

now, for leo season.

leo is our sign of fixed fire: shining brilliantly, emanating a steady light, illuminating what we perhaps don't always take the time to notice. like the sun itself, leo is constant, focused, and powerful in its glow, not afraid to take up space or demand their due. in people, we tend to talk about this sign particularly reductively, like they're just desperate for attention or constantly hogging the spotlight — but like every sign, leo is far more complex than just one negative stereotype.

fixed signs are devoted, steadfast, committed. they take the big ideas and expansive generation initiated with cardinal signs and carry them through, putting in the work, making things real and solid and lasting. and fire is our element of passion, of enthusiasm, of excitement and energy and desire. it's the flow of brilliance and crackling need that inspires us to keep pushing. it's the creative spirit that makes us feel alive.

this concept of fixed fire means that leo is a generous and faithful energy, one that burns true. there's a stability to this radiance, that may feel familiar when we think about sunshine. there's a reason that leo is ruled by the sun itself: this kind of generative, powerful light can illuminate everything, providing light and life in a way that sustains all of us, and can point us back to the truth of who we are.

leo card from the compendium of constellations and the sun from the muse tarot
leo card from the compendium of constellations and the sun from the muse tarot

in the hermetic order of the golden dawn's correspondences, leo is associated with strength, the 8th or 11th card in the major arcana depending on which deck you're using. and when we look at our own calendar, leo season is primarily in the month of august, the 8th month of the year. but leo is also the fifth sign of the zodiac, so to my mind, it's worth looking at both five and eight when we think about leo.

the number five is adventurous, authentic, freedom-seeking. but don't think that just because five is willing to embrace change, that makes them necessarily flaky, distracted, or unable to commit — instead, what i love about the number five is that they are devoted to authenticity; a digit that longs to be their fullest, truest self. five is willing to disrupt and shift in pursuit of that which resonates, and doesn't mind pushing past old limits in order to achieve the greatness that they know they're capable of. similarly, leo is willing to stand up for what they believe in, doesn't mind burning brightly or being persistent in order to achieve their goals.

we see some of the number eight in leo too: that powerful, devoted, doing-what-we're-meant-to-be-doing energy. steadfast movement, with a clear goal in mind and all of the resources and skills necessary to achieve it. it takes a lot of strength to shine consistently, to let ourselves be seen, to honor our own natural gifts and joy and magic instead of holding back or hiding. eight has so many resources, so many skills, so much abundance to tap into. with eight, we remember just how powerful we are, and let our sense of purpose ignite that fire within us.

fixed and fire cards from the astrology deck, strength and the 8 of inspiration (wands) from the muse tarot, leo from the compendium of constellations
cards from the astrology deck, the muse tarot, and the compendium of constellations

to translate these numbers into the tarot, think about the hierophant, temperance, strength, and the star. these are energies that know their own power, that trust their own authenticity, that aren't afraid to stand apart but know that there is value in moving through change with support and encouragement. the hierophant and temperance, our five archetypes, move through old boundaries with intention and courage. strength and the star, our eight archetypes, are patient and steady, knowing that they are moving in a direction that represents the best of what they have to offer.

how do you see leo in all four of these archetypes? what does steady, patient light illuminate, clarify, highlight? how does confidence and courage empower us to move through challenges, to align with our deepest sense of self, to push towards our goals with endurance?

and how might some of those themes echo through the minor arcana fives and eights? how is the spirit of leo captured in the kings, another expression of the number five? what do the king (or muse, in the deck i'm using) and eight of wands have to teach us in particular about leo?

muse of inspiration, hierophant, and strength from the muse tarot; leo from the compendium of constellations
muse (king) of inspiration, hierophant, and strength from the muse tarot; leo from the compendium of constellations

i know that part of the appeal of correspondences is how neat they can be: this goes with this, this helps explain this, this offers a definition for this. and indeed, correspondences can be helpful in learning, in discovery, in going deeper.

but just like with planets, transits, and numerology, tarot archetypes are so much bigger than a handful of keywords and associations. and i think that relying so heavily on correspondences can become limiting sometimes, if we don't go beyond them. we need to use correspondences as entry points, not as the entire definition.

letting leo be fixed fire and the sun and the hierophant and strength and the number five and the number eight and whatever other associations we may have for it helps us see this energy from so many more angles, through so many more lenses. it opens leo up to so many new connections, allows us to explore our relationship with leo for ourselves.

and isn't that the purpose of correspondences, truly? to help offer new avenues for understanding? to offer us a window into an energy? to remind us that we too can access any energy we need, as long as we do with authenticity, presence, and honesty?

what if we stopped diminishing or belittling leo's brilliance, and instead remember that leo wants everyone to shine, wants all of us to be joyful, wants laughter and play and desire and pleasure and heat and abundance and generosity and connection and so much more? what if we celebrated leo for their strength and starlight, for their spirit of adventure and persistence, for their willingness to chase after their goals with single-minded attention and sexy, powerful, passionate devotion?

what if we stopped being afraid of leo's fiery, focused power, and let it flow through us instead?

leo card from the compendium of constellations and strength/star from the muse tarot
leo card from the compendium of constellations and strength/star from the muse tarot

wishing you a brilliant, steadfast, purpose-driven leo season, friends.